- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

A 25-year-old soccer fan in China died from lack of sleep after he stayed up several nights in a row to watch the World Cup on television.

The man was found in front of his TV at his home in Suzhou, near Shanghai. The time difference between Suzhou and Brazil is 11 hours, meaning fans have to stay up through the night to follow the World Cup, Yahoo Sports reported.

Doctors said the death was related to an excessive lack of sleep, but couldn’t be sure whether it was sheer exhaustion or a possible heart attack, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

The man’s death highlights a growing problem in China linked to Internet and television obsession. During the Euro 2012, a fan died from exhaustion after spending 11 sleepless nights watching every game of the championship.

Chinese hospitals also saw a surge in patients admitted with symptoms of exhaustion during the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, Xinhua reported.

In 2011, a Chinese man collapsed and died in an video gaming parlor after spending months living there.

China has become the first country to brand Internet addiction as a behavioral disorder, and many rehab correctional facilities, similar to military training camps, are scattered throughout the country for Internet-addicted youths.

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